Elite Athlete Development Programme Media Release
Comrades accolades for EADP
Durban – The Elite Athlete Development Programme supported by the
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation is celebrating
reaching it’s goal of three top ten finishers at the recent
Comrades Marathon, spearheaded by third placed Bongmusa Mthembu,
who ran a time faster than his 2014 winning time, while at the
same time seeing Siphiwe Ndlela and Fikile Mbuthuma furhter
establish themselves as ultra-marathon stars.
Bongmusa Mthembu was a marked man at the Comrades Marathon
following his 2014 win and with a personal best time and a near
flawless run at the 2016 edition, Mthembu was ecstatic with his
third place finish.
The Prime Human Performance Institute based EADP bagged two men’s
gold medals and a women’s gold in the 2016 instalment of the
Ultimate Human Race as Siphiwe Ndlela followed Mthembu home to
finish seventh in the men’s race with Fikile Mbuthuma ending
eighth in the ladies race.
Despite having the defending champions tag going into the race
Mthembu knew that his focus was going to be off defending his
title but rather on making sure that he could control all the
elements of his race which might put him in a position the win
another ‘down run’ title.
“My race went according to plan which I was really happy about,”
the Arthur Ford Running Club star said. “I ran my personal best
time, even better than my winning time in 2014, so finishing in
third was a great achievement for me.
“David was the best on the day and there is nothing that I could
have done on the day – he was the strongest runner and deserved
to win,” a gracious Mthembu added.
The Bulwer resident understands the pressures of a race like the
Comrades and made sure that he was not distracted by the hype in
the build up to the race and poured all his energy into being as
prepared for the event as he could.
“People do a lot of talking in the build up to big races like the
Comrades and a lot of people expected me to win again but I just
made sure that I focused on my running and my preparation for the
“I knew that if I didn’t win it was important that I rectified
why I didn’t win and move on,” he explained.
Mthembu went into the race on the back of some good form as well
as a strong lead up campaign and with the assistance of the staff
at the Prime Human Performance Institute he knew that he was in
good shape going into the 89km duel.
“I felt really good going into the race, I was fit and didn’t
have any injury niggles which was important.
“The team at Prime have been really good in helping me with
doctor’s costs and rehabilitation as well as a top class training
“I ran a three hour 44 minute first half which was good and I
never worried about the guys in front of me. I knew that I was
strong enough to overtake them however Ludwick (Mamabolo) and
David were just too strong on the day,” Mthembu commented.
The Elite Athlete Development Programme has played a vital role
in preparing Mthembu for the Comrades and the 33 year old
understands the importance of preparation in the build up to such
an important race like Comrades.
“The EADP have been really important for me in helping me with
doctor’s bills as well as training and I am really grateful for
all the help that I have received in preparing for Comrades,” he
Mthembu is passionate about putting back into his local community
in Bulwer and has committed R150 000 of his proceeds from the
2016 Comrades Marathon to the self-help foundation that he has
established for residents of his midlands town.
Ndlela, who was hoping for a top ten prior to the race, ran an
incredible race to finish seventh overall in the men’s race in a
personal best time of 5:36.56. He managed to shave ten minutes
off his previous down run time.
Mbuthuma also flew the EADP flag high when she ran her personal
best time, as she finished eighth in the ladies race and was the
first KwaZulu-Natal lady home. She managed to outstrip her
previous best down run time by twelve minutes in the process.
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As one of the three
Elite Athlete Development Programme runners to finish with a gold
medal, Bongmusa Mthembu was the highest placed when he finished
in third place overall at the 2016 Comrades Marathon.
Jetline Action Photo/
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